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11 Little Known Ways to Get Free Gardening Supplies Full Guide of 2023

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free gardening suppliesDid you know over 80% of households grow some of their own food? Your inner gardener is waiting to bloom with the right supplies.

Luckily, frugal gardeners like you can cultivate gorgeous gardens using free materials. Local gardening groups and government programs offer free seeds, plants, and soil amendments.

With clever DIY hacks like homemade plant cages and recycled containers, you’ll keep costs low while growing a bountiful, beautiful garden to feed your family.

Let your creativity flourish using free or nearly-free materials. This simple advice will help you grow lush gardens that nourish you in every way.

Key Takeaways

  • Local gardening groups offer shared tools, seeds, expertise, and guidance from experienced gardeners.
  • Check with government resources like city parks for free compost, mulch, plants, and rain barrels.
  • Develop business partnerships with landscapers, tree services, coffee shops, and more for leftover materials like soil, wood chips, coffee grounds.
  • Make use of DIY and frugal tips like composting food scraps, upcycling items into planters, and starting seeds instead of buying plants.

Local Gardening Groups

Local Gardening Groups
You’ll wanna tap into those local gardening groups to swap extras and get guidance from experienced green thumbs in your hood. Check community boards and social media for meetups where you can network with fellow gardeners.

These groups often share tools, seeds, plant cuttings, and expertise. Ask if anyone has leftover tomato cages, buckets, or soil amendments they’d donate. Attend a plant swap and trade your extras for something new. Experienced members can provide composting advice and may even give you free compost materials like leaves or coffee grounds.

Volunteer at community gardens and you may get to take home free plant food in return. Look for upcoming gardening events like seminars or mulch giveaways and meet like-minded neighbors there. Joining a local group allows you to tap into the community’s knowledge and resources.

You’ll find camaraderie and support from seasoned gardeners willing to pay it forward.

These connections help expand your skills and access free materials to get your garden going strong.

Government Programs

Government Programs
Tap your local government for leftover compost or community garden plots to grow fresh veggies on the cheap. Check with your city park department or local library for programs offering free mulch, compost, native plants, or rain barrels to residents.

See if they distribute seed packets or have a tool lending library. Attend an educational workshop on composting kitchen scraps into rich, natural fertilizer. Some municipalities convert yard waste into nutrient-rich compost and may give it away.

Stop by city offices and ask about community garden initiatives where you can claim a plot of land. Volunteer at local parks in exchange for fruit and veggies. Growing food brings neighborhoods together.

Connect with your neighbors through gardening and share the bounty. Tapping local resources allows you to garden organically without spending much. With a little creativity, you can get free soil amendments, tools, and plants from city programs and libraries.

Local Businesses

Local Businesses
Seek out landscapers who may offer leftover topsoil or woodshops with sawdust to supplement your garden’s needs without additional cost. Tap into your local community of businesses for free or discounted gardening materials.

Many companies end up with excess supplies that could benefit your garden. Check with cabinetmakers and furniture builders that may have sawdust or wood shavings to spare.

Coffee shops like Starbucks often have grounds they can’t use that make excellent compost. Tree removal services accumulate tons of chipped wood and mulch they’re happy to share. Landscapers may have extra bags of topsoil or compost leftover from big jobs. Connecting with businesses prevents these materials from going to waste and provides you with quality gardening resources.

Frequent nurseries for giveaways and specials on plants. Hardware stores offer workshops with free samples of soil and fertilizers to try. Wherever possible, cultivate relationships and see what materials are available to support your garden.

With a little resourcefulness, you can get quality gardening supplies at no cost by exchanging with local companies.

Your garden benefits the neighborhood while reducing waste.

DIY and Frugal Tips

DIY and Frugal Tips
Gather leaves for compost and make your own potting mix to minimize gardening costs. With a little effort, you can get all the ingredients needed for a bountiful garden without spending a dime.

  • Check with neighbors and friends to see who may have extra seeds, seedlings or gardening tools to share.
  • Look for local seed swaps and exchanges to get unique varieties for free.
  • Use household scraps like banana peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds for homegrown compost and fertilizers.
  • Make seed starting mix from used soil and coconut coir or substitute peat moss with shredded newspaper.
  • Upcycle found items like buckets, crates and jars for planters and garden structures.

Growing your own herbs, vegetables and flowers enables you to control what goes into the garden while building community. With some clever frugal tips, you can have a thriving garden that gives back without breaking the bank.

Start with what resources you have and build from there through exchanges, upcycling and ingenuity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some good plants to start from seed rather than buying starter plants?

Quick-growing veggies like lettuce, radishes, spinach, and beans are ideal for starting from seed rather than buying starter plants. Herbs including basil, parsley, and oregano also grow well from seed. Start tomato, pepper, squash, cucumber, and carrot seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost for abundant summer harvests.

How can I get free shipping on large or heavy gardening items I find online?

Combine orders with friends to reach free shipping thresholds set by retailers. Check retailer policies for free shipping over a certain dollar amount. Use coupon codes and cashback sites to get discounted or free shipping costs. Sign up for membership programs like Amazon Prime that offer free delivery as a benefit.

Compare seller shipping rates and delivery options to find the most cost-effective deal.

Where can I find free gardening classes or workshops in my area?

Check with your local university extension office or botanical garden to see if they offer free gardening classes for the community. These are great opportunities to learn hands-on skills from master gardeners, get advice on growing plants in your climate, and connect with fellow garden enthusiasts.

Consider reaching out to local nurseries, garden centers, or hardware stores as well. Many host free gardening workshops, particularly in the spring and summer. Ask if they have any upcoming classes on topics like vegetable gardening, flower planting, composting, or more.

Search online for gardening meetups or groups in your city or town. These organizations often hold free events like plant swaps, garden tours, hands-on workshops, and more.

Look on sites like Eventbrite or local event calendars for free gardening talks or demonstrations. Historic sites, parks, community gardens, and nature centers sometimes offer these as well.

Check community education schedules at schools or community colleges for inexpensive gardening classes. These allow you to learn from teachers and get hands-on experience in an educational setting.

How early in the spring can I start seeds indoors under grow lights?

Most vegetable and flower seeds can be started 6-8 weeks before your last expected spring frost date. Use a seed starting mix, grow lights, and bottom heat for optimal germination. Acclimate seedlings gradually before transplanting them outdoors once the danger of frost has passed.

What gardening books or publications offer the best free subscription gifts?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac sends you free seed packets when you subscribe. You’ll also receive a weather calendar and planting guide. Go with Fine Gardening for bonus plant starts. Hobby Farms gives you a useful tool or seed packet with every issue.


Here are some frugal gardening strategies to reap free supplies and grow a plentiful harvest for pennies. With a little creativity, resourcefulness, and community connections, you can get everything you need to create a thriving garden without breaking the bank.

Implement these tips, like sourcing locally and making your own compost and potting mix, and you’ll save money while enjoying the bounty and beauty of your garden. With perseverance and ingenuity, you can cut costs and grow food and flowers using free gardening supplies.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.